48ChryslerNick

1948 Master cylinder, can i upgrade to a 2 reservoir unit?

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Hello,

I am starting to get my 1948 Chrysler Windsor on the road. It has a single reservoir master cylinder (from what i remember - it is sitting in another state).

Is it possible to install a dual reservoir master cylinder? Just looking at a little more safety in the brakes.

I will be installing seat belts too -- I am looking at really using the car -- not letting it sit any longer cause i am not getting younger.

thanks in advance,

nick

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If your 48 Chrysler has that same type of under floor mounted master cylinder that the Plymouths of the same era used, then I don't think you will find a bolt in dual cylinder. I've seen photos of all sorts of setups where a newer firewall mount dual master has been mounted under the floor with adaptions to the original pedal linkage to make things work.

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I have seen adaptations where a new power brake master cylinder was mounted behind the original, and operated by a long rod from the pedal that passed through the old cylinder.

I wouldn't go to the bother. If the brakes are serviced and maintained they are very reliable. If you are dubious, make sure the hand brake is in perfect working order. It is on the back of the transmission, completely independent of the service brakes. And quite powerful if in good condition.

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Sage advise, thank you Rusty_OToole.  I've been enjoying your posts all day.

I am helping a friend with a '49 Windsor C-45, 6 cylinder, manual brakes.  After today's readings, I think we should follow your advice about returning the original braking system to "perfect working order".  That I can do.

Although the dual circuit upgrade interests me greatly.  Any updates from 2014?

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Nothing new to add. Hot rod supply shops offer a mounting bracket to mount a modern master cylinder to the frame. There are quite compact power brake boosters too if you want power brakes. Be careful you get the same diameter cylinder, and one that is made for drum brakes not disc brakes. I recently converted my 1966 Dodge Coronet to modern master cylinder and power brakes, the booster master cylinder assembly cost $185.

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It's completely true that the old single hyd circuit brakes were completely reliable if at all decently maintained, and that the hand (emergency) brake was generally almost as good for rear brakes, .or I wouldn't be alive now

It's also true that that system had one glaring flaw---any serious leak, or a break in a line equalled no wheel brakes, which, I know from experience, can be disconcerting, to say the least (since, I never move a car without stepping on the brake, just  to make sure they're still there)...

This doesn't mean I'm recommending replacement; the odds of such an incident are vanishingly small on maintained systems; but it is there, and ANY changes or oddities in brake "feel" should be investigated...

Hudson had a system of hooking the emergency (rear wheel cables) brakes directly to the brake pedal---if pedal went past factory travel to engage hyd's,  emergencies would take up before pedal hit the floor (there's nothing quite like the feeling of sailing along and a  brake pedal suddenly falling to the floor...)...

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Gave Hudson pat on the back; forgot about their needing a klunk on the head...

Driving 36 6cyl 4dr in small town downtown (jalopy years). Approaching intersection, brake pedal fell to floor amid sparks and elec smoke...got stopped with emergency, no crash, no fire  (no cross traffic, pulled pedal up by hand)...

Turns out brake pedal in TWO parts, one above floorboards to just below floorboards, other below floorboards connected to brakes...'Lower part has clevis joint top; upper part round rod with half moon cut in top of rod. A bolt goes thru clevis and cut, holding brake pedal parts together.

What happened was bolt loosened, worked out; when stepped on brake, round rod top slid down thru clevis without moving lower part enough to engage brakes, DOWN ONTO STARTER SOLENOID, shorting it out, spewing sparks and smoke.  Some designer was really asleep when that went through.

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